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Case Study: How Lay’s managed its fans during crunch time

Challenge

How do you convince die-hard and loyalist potato chip fans to try a new product – while keeping in mind they’re unapologetically extreme teens?

GroupM Thailand’s digital unit, mInteraction, with media agency Mindshare teamed with Lay’s to get new fans to take a crunchy interest with their first Ridged cut label, MAXX in the Thai market. In the packaged potato chips market, Lay’s and Testo have long been top contributors with Lay’s monopolising the leadership position. For the type of cut, there are two patterns – the Flat cut and Ridged cut. The percentage of contribution for each is 52.5% and 45.3% respectively. Lay’s dominates in the Flat cut territory whereas the Ridged cut currently belongs to Testo’s. To reaffirm its standards, Lay’s stepped up and expanded into the unfilled and overlooked Ridged category by launching a new product – Lay’s MAXX.

What lies behind the case is the business objective, to gain a greater share in ‘Ridged’ cuts by successfully converting Testo’s consumers and capturing the attention of ridge cut lovers. The brand hoped to build a strong relationship under the communication objective, to create awareness of Lay’s MAXX product to the target audience, to excitedly introduce the new deep ridge cut into the market, and to make Lay’s the top of mind in this category.

Strategy

The target, Generation ‘ME’ has an undying relationship with potato chips, who are labeled as identity builders and the brand needed to tap into males aged 15 to 25 years old with a bull’s eye on 19 years old in particular.

Lay’s has well-established itself as top of the mind when it comes to the mass and their preference for potato chips, however falling behind in Ridged cuts and was presented with this perfect challenge. Flat cut lovers prefer crispiness and lighter than air chips, majority being female. Conversely, the Ridged cut’s affection are won mostly by males.

Under this unique insight, the key communication message was to encourage young and hungry Thai guys to ‘live to the MAXX and play to the MAXX’ while showcasing the substantial differentiation compared to existing products, a more superior new cut that goes deep, an intense flavor appealing to snack lovers, and a crunchier texture to create more fun and excitement upon chewing.

Gen ME has an all-out attitude and rather extreme when it comes to getting what they want, which is to fulfill their self-actualization needs, but in reality, they are confined to their roles and responsibilities. To liberate them from such limitations, Lay’s launches its new product that embodies everything to the max as an outlet, just what the Gen ME need. The MAXX product offers the experience of living and playing to the max without any life constraints to hold them back.

Execution

The creative strategic solution is to perfectly capture the psyche of the Male teenager in a cool and active style with dramatic and appetizing imagery also to have easier product recall under a catchy product name. Facebook is the first channel and phase as a teaser to generate awareness of the ‘Maxx Challenge’ campaign.The second phase is then later revealed by the Lay’s Facebook fan page; a microsite with an interactive game staring two teen idols as the main characters that are the represented players in the Maxx Challenge. While doing so, brand updates are posted on Facebook to keep consumers current and convince Lay’s fans to engage with this campaign and keep the conversation alive.

The fun didn’t end there as the top five best score received two movie tickets per week and at the wrap of the campaign, all participants have a chance to score an iPhone 5S (four winners). Instagram was utilised as a supportive channel to post behind-the-scenes and presenter pictures.

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